Q&A with Mike Sherman

"When you are playing teams like the 49ers, there is motivation to go out there and play in that environment against that type of football team with its history and tradition of winning championships. I think the 49ers and Green Bay have become a great rivalry game. That is as big of a rivalry game that we play. ... It is a rivalry game because both franchises have won championships and have a lot of pride. Obviously, a lot of what Green Bay does has come out of San Francisco."

Q: When you look at the 49ers film, what did you see from the multi-varied 49er defense?

Sherman: They are very multi and they are varied. They give you a bunch of different looks and never the same looks back to back. They disguise things well.

Q: Is Julian Peterson a kind of guy that you have to pinpoint on every play?

Sherman: He's a tremendous player. There is no question about that. I sent one of my linebacker coaches to go visit him and he was very impressed with him. He's a heck of an athlete and I promise you that the receivers will know where he's at.

Q: Do you expect them to throw that same stuff your way or probably not since Brett's an experienced quarterback and he might be able to handle them better?

Sherman: No, I expect them to do the things they do best, which is there multiple defensive football team. They give you a ton of different looks and that is what they do. I don't anticipate them to change.

Q: When the secondary is that battered, is that something you target?

Sherman: Not necessarily. I think sometimes, I've been guilty of that before, when you think there is something there and there is not. You just have to do what you do best and hope that is good enough. You can't change what you do and be balanced, which is what we try to do and continue to do.

Q: Has it been a challenge for you to keep going and keep your team where you want them to be with you guys clinching so early in the season?

Sherman: None whatsoever. When you are playing teams like the 49ers, there is motivation to go out there and play in that environment against that type of football team with its history and tradition of winning championships. I think the 49ers and Green Bay have become a great rivalry game. I know it's not Chicago or Minnesota, which is here locally, but when you leave our surroundings, that is as big of a rivalry game that we play.

Q: Your run defense has struggled a tad. How much of a concern is that as you round this final quarter?

Sherman: You are being very polite to say that it is struggling a tad. It has struggled a lot as of late. We haven't done a great job of it, particularly in the last ball game. It is a concern. We have had some injuries there, but that is not the reason we didn't defend the run very well this weekend. We just didn't get off blocks and tackle very well. It is something that we are definitely focused on. I think we have the players who can step up and make it work for us, but that has to happen quick before we play this team.

Q: You mention this is a rivalry, but the Packers have gone 8-1 against the 49ers since 1995. What do you think have been some of the factors in terms of the Packers success?

Sherman: Well, I don't know. Each year, the team is a different team. I don't think there is any common denominator. I do think it is a rivalry game because both franchises have won championships and have a lot of pride. Obviously, a lot of what Green Bay does have come out of San Francisco in regard to the West Coast offense, starting with Mike Holmgren when he was here and now with me. A lot of the influence has come from Bill Walsh. I really can't tell you why we've had such success against the 49ers because I do think each year is different.

Q: Do you think Brett Favre is a common denominator?

Sherman: He probably would be because he has been in every one of those ball games.

Q: We were talking with Brett about his relationship with Steve. What is your relationship like with Brett?

Sherman: Steve was Brett's quarterback coach and they were very close, obviously. As a head coach, it's not quite like that as a position coach. I think Brett and I have a fairly good relationship and get along quite well.

Q: You made national headlines with your situation with Warren Sapp. Do you have any regrets regarding that or have you had a chance to reflect on that moment?

Sherman: I don't regret being honest and telling a person face to face about what I felt. I've lived my life that way. I regret it was made and issue. It was two men talking after a game and it was somewhat confrontational, but I regret the fact that it was made an issue.

 


Niners Digest Top Stories